104 Grammar Rules For Writers

Below is our list of grammar rules for writers. We give a quick explanation after each bullet point. But click on each link for further understanding and examples of correct usage.

  1. “A” before consonants and “an” before vowels is not the rule. Rather, the rule is that “a” is placed before consonant-sounding words and “an” before vowel-sounding words.
  2. A lot vs. alot vs. allot. “A lot” is either an adverb or pronoun, “allot” is a verb, and “alot” doesn’t exist.
  3. A moral vs. amoral vs. immoral. A “moral” person knows the difference between right and wrong and chooses the right way; an “immoral” person knows the difference and chooses the wrong way; an “amoral” person has no concept or recognition of the rules at all.
  4. Abate vs. bait vs. bate. Abate and bate both basically mean the same thing: to reduce the intensity of and/or deduct something (or even outright end it). Meanwhile, bait is a verb or noun that’s used to lure something or someone as if it’s prey, whether that’s as dinner or a customer.
  5. Adapt vs. adept vs. adopt. Adapt means to make something fit for a new use or purpose; adept refers to a well-trained person; and adopt refers to taking a child as your own or putting something into effect or practicing something (like adopting a resolution or a new singing style).
  6. Advice vs. advise. “Advice” is a noun, and “advise” is a verb.
  7. Affect vs. effect. “Affect” is usually used as a verb, while “effect” is usually a noun.
  8. Allude vs. elude. “Allude” means to suggest or hint at something, while “elude” means to evade or escape.
  9. Alright vs. all right. “All right” is a commonly used phrase for okay, while “alright” doesn’t technically exist.
  10. Analogy vs. metaphor vs. simile. A “metaphor” is something, a “simile” is like something, and an “analogy” explains how one thing being like another helps explain them both.
  11. Annual vs. perennial. When it comes to plants, annuals have to be planted each year while perennials do not. 
  12. Anybody vs. anyone vs. somebody vs. someone. “Anybody” and “anyone” are interchangeable; also, “somebody” and “someone” are interchangeable. Further, there are times when anyone can be somebody, though other times when not just anybody can be a someone.
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